The School holidays can be a challenge for some families. This can be due to increased costs such as providing meals, childcare and reduced incomes due to reduced working hours. Also, there is no provision for Free School Meals (FSM) during the holidays. There is growing evidence that this can impact on the health and wellbeing of some families during the holidays. Children, Young People and Families on low incomes are:
- less likely to access organised holiday activities
- more likely to experience “unhealthy holidays” in terms of nutrition and physical health and
- more likely to experience social isolation.
Free holiday clubs can be part of a community solution to this problem and deliver a positive impact for Children and Young People (CYP). Evidence suggests that holiday clubs work best where there is regular and accessible provision of a diverse range of positive activities which include physical activity and a healthy nutritious meal. The benefits are even better when children and their parents are involved in food preparation.
It is estimated that there are approximately 170 non-school days (including weekends) a year in the UK that free school meal pupils cannot access their entitlement to a school lunch. Access to FSM may provide the only hot meal for some children over the school term.
The aim of the Telford & Wrekin Council Holiday Activities and Eat Well Fund is to reduce the pressure during school holidays, on CYP and families in Telford who receive Free School Meals and those who are on low incomes.
The Holiday Activities and Eat Well Funding is focused on the areas of the Borough with the highest levels of CYP in receipt of FSM. These areas are the wards of Arleston, Brookside, Dawley and Aqueduct, Donnington, Hadley and Leegomery, Ketley and Overdale, Madeley and Sutton Hill, Malinslee and Dawley, Oakengates and Ketley Bank, The Nedge and Woodside.
View the maps showing the ward boundaries. The target group for this funding are the CYP and their families that are in receipt of FSM or may be at risk of food poverty during the school holidays.
The aim of the fund is to support the development and delivery of projects that help to reduce the financial pressure on families as outlined above. Funding will support the coordination of holiday provision to help deliver the key outcomes outlined below for CYP and their families, helping them to feel happy and well and to:
- eat more healthily during the holidays - provide a minimum of one meal a day (breakfast, lunch or dinner)
- be more active during the holidays;
- take part in engaging and enriching activities which support the development of resilience, and wellbeing and other skills;
- be safe and not to be socially isolated;
- have greater knowledge of health and nutrition.
Funding is available to support the development of new projects or to expand projects that have been delivered previously. Organisations that received funding from the Telford@50 Holiday Hunger pilot can apply to this fund, these projects will need to demonstrate how they will increase the numbers of target CYP and or families, benefiting from the project. All applications need to show how they are going to sustain their project in the future.
There is a total of £50,000 available within the Holiday Activities and Eat Well Fund for 2019/20, the amount of funding available in each of the ward areas is proportionate to the number of CYP in receipt of FSM that live within the ward. Please view the list of ward allocations.
There is also £50,000 available to be allocated in 2020/21, allocation of this funding will be dependent on successful delivery of projects in 2019/20.